Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - US rock group Pearl Jam donated proceeds from a concert in Brazil to victims of a toxic mining spill that killed 12 people and was the country's worst environmental disaster.
The group's singer Eddie Vedder interrupted a show Friday night in Belo Horizonte, capital of the southeast state of Minas Gerais -- where the disaster occurred November 5 -- and called for the mining company involved to be severely punished.
As seen on a video on the news website G1, the group got a standing ovation when Vedder said the take from that concert would go to victims of the disaster.
It struck when a dam collapsed at the waste reservoirs of an iron ore mine, unleashing a torrent of yellowish muck that all but buried a village, left 280,000 people without water and smothered thousands of fish, turtles and other animals.
Besides the 12 dead, another 12 people remain missing.
The mining facility is owned by Samarco, a joint venture between the mining giants BHP Billiton of Australia and Vale of Brazil.
Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said Friday it was the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history and that it will take 30 years to clean the basin of the Doce River, into which the sludge flowed.
Samarco has already been hit with damages, fines and frozen funds totalling more than $400 million.